Appeal Court upholds Edo election petition tribunal, says APC’s Akpatason is winner

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Jethro Ibileke/Benin
Peter Akpatason
The Court of Appeal, Benin Division, on Wednesday upheld the declaration of Peter Akpatason, candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC), as winner of the 28 March National Assembly election for Akoko-Edo Federal Constituency by the Edo State Election Petition Tribunal.
Candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Oladele Bankole-Balogun, had appealed the judgement of the lower court which affirmed Akpatason winner of the election as declared by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC).
The tribunal headed by Justice A. R. Ozoemena, had on 8 June, 2015, struck out the petition Bankole-Balogun of the PDP against APC’s Akpatason, for lack of merit.
The tribunal held that though the petitioner signed his column in the petition, his party, the PDP did not sign which according to the tribunal, was a negation of the Electoral Act.
Following the judgment, the PDP and Bankole-Balogun approached the Appellate Court to contest the judgment.
The three-man Appeal Court panel, headed by Justice P. Ekpe, in its judgment, agreed with the judgment of the lower Tribunal, pointing out that the issue bothers on section 4.1 Schedule of the Electoral Act, which provides that the petitioners or their Counsel must sign the petition or on their behalf.
The court while dismissing the argument of the petitioner that the lower Court did not give them fair hearing on the issue of the signing of the petition, held that though the first petitioner (Bankole-Balogun) signed his column, the PDP did not sign, stressing, “so it is assumed that the first petitioner signed the entire petition which is not in agreement with the Electoral Act.”
The judgement caused wild jubilation by members of the APC and friends of the federal lawmaker‎ who declared “God has vindicated me.”
In his comment, Counsel to Akpatason, Ken Mozia (SAN), described the judgment as victory …Read More

Source:: PM Newspaper